Mozilla enters the mobile phone arena with two developer phones

January 22, 2013

Mozilla enters the mobile phone arena with developer phonesMozilla wants to grab a piece of the mobile action by offering its own OS to phone manufacturers. In support of this proposition, the company announced a pair of upcoming preview phones running Firefox OS that will be available next month.

As if we didn’t have enough cell phone operating systems with iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Tizen (Linux), Mozilla has decided to throw in Firefox OS. In an announcement earlier today, Mozilla revealed their two developer preview phones the Keon and the Peak.  According to The Verge both models are being developed with Geeksphone a Spanish company.

Both Geeksphone and Mozilla are touting that Firefox OS was created using open web standards. The claim is that the new OS will free OEMs and carriers from proprietary platforms giving them more power, like they need it, over the final product and user experience.

FirefoxOS is supposed to help app developers since they “will no longer need to learn and develop against platform-specific native APIs.” All apps are supposed to work across multiple devices simplifying the process.  Supposedly “the web is the platform” meaning the OEMs, carriers, developers and consumers should all find the operating system easy to customize and use.

Whether the claim holds up is another issue altogether and the introduction of two developer phones in February should give some hint of its actual abilities.  The Keon will come with a Snapdragon S1 1Ghz processor, 4 GB of ROM and 512 MB of RAM, rather paltry specks considering the competition. The battery will be 1580 mAh. It will also come with a 3 MP camera, MicroSD, Wifi N, Light & Prox. Sensor, G-Sensor, GPS, MicroUSB and a 3.5 inch HVGA multi-touch screen.

The Peak is higher end with a 1.2 Ghz Snapdragon S4 processor, 4.3 inch screen, dual cameras, and a more powerful battery. The ROM and RAM remain the same though.  Most phones these days come with 8GB of ROM and at least 1GB of RAM. But those middling stats are in line with what The Verge has reported is Mozilla’s market.  Apparently the company is creating low-end, low-cost devices for emerging markets.

Good luck to those emerging markets.  They already are faced with a daunting number of choices with other smart phone operating systems but also with dirt cheap dumb phones. Let’s see what operating systems are still in use in two years time.  We might be surprised.

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